English in India is firmly established as the country’s associate official language, as the official language of many regional Indian states, and as the inter- and intranational link language for a speech community that massively outnumbers other ‘native’ speakers. This course will trace the development of English in India from its modest beginnings as one colonial traders’ language among many to its entrenchment across the whole of South Asia – and beyond, since Indian English as a diasporic language is present in many countries.
Once we have covered the basics of the history of English in India as well as the main structural features of Indian English, we still have a host of topics to choose from and we will pick our topics according to your preferences:
the language of discovery: the earliest reports by travelers to India
colonial language policy: Orientalists vs. Anglicists
the official language controversy and Gandhi’s quest for a national language
language conflicts: Pakistan vs. Bangladesh
minority languages and linguistic human rights
Dalits (‘Untouchables’) and English
Indian English in the diaspora: British Asian English
Accents and the Indian call centre industry
Chutnefying English – the phenomenon of Hinglish
English and Bollywood
Indian English standup comedy
A course reader (including a list of online resources) and a choice of linguistically relevant films will be made available by the beginning of July.